Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

October 30, 1915

On October 30, 1915, the Baltimore Afro-American reported that several Haitian politicians were resisting occupation by the United States. “Despite the fact that the news is being spread in the United States that the Haitians have cheerfully acquiesced in the demands made by the American government there is considerable unrest here,” the article began. “Many Haitians say that the United States is trying to ram the treaty down the throats of their people and that they are expected to agree to every demand made by the American government. This feeling that the United States contemplates complete mastery of the situation here has been growing since Woodrow Wilson became President.” The article outlined several treaty provisions that were “vigorously fought in the cabinet,” including “that Haiti shall not undertake the development of any of its economic sources unless it is in the interest of the public health from the standpoint of the United States and if the President of the United States agrees to the same and to the appointment of the engineers therefor.” The Afro-American noted that this provision “is believed to be in the interest of white capitalists of America, who see millions in exploiting Haiti.” The United States’ occupation of Haiti lasted from 1915 until 1934.

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